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Chapter 1 What is Anthropology?

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1 Chapter 1 What is Anthropology?
The Scope of Anthropology The Holistic Approach The Anthropological Curiosity Fields of Anthropology Specialization The Relevance of Anthropology Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 What is Cultural Anthropology?
Most common answers from our class assessment… What is Anthropology? The study of mankind, humanity, evolution and adaptation Study of human behavior, culture, interaction, and relationship between humans and the environment What is Cultural Anthropology? The study of culture, customs, beliefs, and traditions Study of differences in culture

3 The Scope of Anthropology
Anthropology can be defined as the study of humankind in all times and places Broader in scope than other disciplines Every part of the world containing human populations is of interest to anthropological study. Includes studying other primates to look for clues about our ancestral origins

4 The Holistic Approach Anthropology is a unique discipline because it employs a holistic, or multifaceted, approach to the study of human beings.

5 The Anthropological Curiosity
Anthropologists generally focus on typical characteristics of a population. When describing a group of people, anthropologists may discuss: the history of the area in which they live, the physical environment, the organization of family life, the general features of their language, their political and economic systems, their religion, their diet, or their styles of art and dress.


7 Fields of Anthropology
Figure 1-1 (p. 5) The Subdivisions of Anthropology The four major subdisciplines of anthropology (in bold letters) may be classified according to subject matter (physical or cultural) hand according to the period with which each is concerned (distant past versus recent past and present). There are applications of anthropology in all four subdisciplines.

8 Biological (physical) Anthropology
Two Primary Focuses of Study: Human Paleontology Look at the emergence of humans and their later evolution Reconstruct human evolution through fossils Human Variation Investigate how and why human populations differ in biological or physical characteristics

9 Cultural Anthropology
Cultural anthropology is concerned with how and why cultures vary or are similar in the past and present. The Three Branches of Cultural Anthropology are: Archaeology Linguistics Ethnology Anthropology is concerned with understanding the other. Power dynamics. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

10 Archaeology Archaeologists try to reconstruct history from the remains of human cultures. How do archaeologists differ from historians? Most studies deal with prehistory Some specialize in historical archaeology How are archeologists different form historians? Archeologists

11 Anthropological Linguistics
The anthropological study of language. Historical Linguistics Study of how languages change over time and how they are related Descriptive or Structural Linguistics Study how contemporary languages may differ Sociolinguistics Study how language is used in social context Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

12 Ethnology Commonly referred to as cultural anthropology, ethnology is concerned with patterns of thought and behavior. Ethnographers Ethnohistorian Cross-Cultural Researcher Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

13 Applied Anthropology About half of all professional anthropologists are applied, or practicing, anthropologists. Applied anthropologists may be trained in one or more of the subfields of anthropology.

14 The Relevance of Anthropology
In order to understand humans, it is essential that we study humans in all times and places. Anthropological studies can illustrate why other people are the way they are, both culturally and physically.

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